Councilors Scrap Senior Beach Fee
The Barrington Town Council rescinded the $10 fee for seniors amid a debate over whether anyone should pay to use the beach.
The $10 Barrington Beach fee for seniors has been rescinded.
The Town Council voted 4-0 with one abstention Monday night to rescind the fee that was established last spring.
The decision came after a rather lengthy discussion on two questions: Should everyone be required to pay for using the beach? Or should no one pay?
Councilor Kate Weymouth, who abstained from voting, said everyone who benefits from the beach should pay something or nobody should pay a fee.
“There is an up-charge on everyone else,” she said, if one group is exempt.
Weymouth also said she wanted to wait to vote on the senior fee until after a new recreation director is in place. He or she might have some opinion on it, Weymouth said.
“We all pay taxes,” said Town Councilor Bill DeWitt. “Nobody should pay. Let’s manage it (beach) in the budget. Don’t burden non-seniors.”
Town Council Vice President Jeff Brenner, who suggested a senior beach fee last spring, repeated his contention that he recommended the fee because he believed some senior programming would be forthcoming from the Recreation Department and the Parks and Recreation Commission.
That type of programming has not happened, Brenner said, so he made the motion Monday night to rescind the fee.
“Maybe we should get rid of all fees?” said Town Council President June Speakman. “We can raise taxes.”
Recreation commission member Anthony Arico Jr., who has been pushing to rescind the fee, said he was very pleased that the Town Council made the decision it did.
Susan Tucker, who submitted several petitions to the Town Council at its July meeting to rescind the fee, thanked the council for its decision.
“We just want to enjoy the beach,” she said.
The $30 beach fee is expected to go on the October Town Council agenda for possible elimination as well.